Residents pack Hamden Town Hall for legislative council meeting following officer-involved shooting

New Haven

Young, old, black and white packed into Hamden Town Hall on Monday. Their message transcended age, gender and race. 

The uncle of Paul Witherspoon, the driver of a car shot at by a Hamden and Yale officers, said his nephew will never be the same. 

“People have a conscience and they realize this could happen to anybody. Last week, this is my nephew. The next day it was somebody else’s son,” Rodney Williams stated.

We asked people why they wanted to come out and speak up.

“Those two young adults, their lives matter, and the way our society has been structured and the way our society has responded to these issues in the past has taught them that their lives do not matter,” Rev. Jack Perkins Davidson said.

Related Content: Owner of video showing controversial police shooting speaks only to News 8

Some called for the town council to fund an independent investigation of the Hamden and Yale officers who fired their guns, striking passenger Stephanie Washington, and for sensitivity training. 

“I don’t think a lot of white people even realize what it feels like to drive through a white community being black. Make sure if your windows are tinted, you wanna roll your windows down, that way the police can’t say they didn’t see you,” Williams said.

“White people have a very different experience and relationship of the police in our community, and it’s important for us to show up and hear them out,” Rev. Davidson added.

Hamden’s mayor and acting police chief listened and took notes.

The community wants to see body cam and dash cam footage. The state attorney said that will be released later this week

On May 8th, there is a police commission meeting. Protesters are expected to be there and will be handing their recommendation for an independent investigation at that time. 

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